EOW 5K 00:36:43

16 08 2009

coin2201.jpg image by erpedenPotts, of the wonderful Pott’s Trotters, has a race series called the End Of Watch Memorial Series. It is a fundraiser for those memorial benches of fallen Aurora, Colorado police officers. It’s a good hearted effort. Sometimes the families of the officers are doing the event listed under run, racewalk, or fitness walk and the whole thing is very low keyed. It is timed, but not chipped, and the route is a smidge hilly through the local neighborhood – but begins and ends at the Aurora Police Department.

There were changes this year, and fortunately Marianne M. (fresh off her 5, 10, 20 K wins in Finland) was doing some warming up to tell me what happened. Usually, the event takes place in the munipal building right at the front of the police department. This year, they’ve moved Potts to a courtyard on the side and I think it works out a lot better. The start now has a downhill slope and out of the parking lot … of course that means when you’re trying to finish, you’re going back up-hill at the end. Ok – Bolder Boulder!

It was nice to see folks. Turned out I was missed at the Georgetown race and that made me smile. This was my first race using the FastTwitch shoes, ortotics, and nearly 2 months of chiropractic on my knee. Seeing first Mariann then Michael Blanchard, I knew that the highest finish I could make would be 3rd overall … and when I saw the wonderful gentleman Darryl, I knew if I could hold 4th, I’d be happy! Bob Carlson was bopping around – kicking it at 80+. I figured he’d spot us at the beginning and end but not out on the course … and it appears I was right.

The beginning of the EOW series has a memorial to the fallen officer our fees are going to. Doves are let fly and it’s a very pretty rememberance. Runners start 2 minutes ahead of the walkers. Racewalkers start toward the front and fitness walkers just float along in the rear. Ok, so how are we told apart? It’s on the application and Bob pretty much knows the handful of us who were competing racewalking. I’ve only done a couple of her races where there were obviously jog/walkers who signed up for the “soft option” of “walker”, but they were carefully moved.

It was nice to talk with Darryl, Michael and Marianne. I’m still on the shoe hunt, so I’m asking a lot of questions.  I warmed up the legs a little and definitely did warm up exercises. Since I’m not really one to warm up the legs for anything under a 10K, I have to remind myself that I race better when I do! I train better also!

When we took off, I deliberately put myself behind Michael … I didn’t want to be on that toe line – to give them their flying start – but didn’t want to be behind others. I started off with a jump and by the time we turned the first corner, I knew I was solidly in 4th. I had kept up with the three front folks just long enough to put some room between me and the rest of the walkers. As I watched the speedy three take off, I let them. I didn’t feel like I even wanted to try to keep up. Good first step for me — actually walking my own race! Yippeeee!!!

The first kilometer to mile was clunky. There’s no other way to put it. I am not very smooth right now. I feel like I’ve got tired with a flat spot on them. I think if I got in the habit of warming up more, I’d have the clunks worked out before the race starts. I already knew the first mile was geting the kinks out, so no problem here.

I mentioned that the course goes up through a neighborhood … it does. It’s kind of a rolling hill course. You start off going down the street to the neighborhood and then roll up through that neighborhood with associated flats here and there, but for the most part you’re going up. I’m not sure exactly where I was, but I kind of wanted to stop for a sec. It made no sense as I wasn’t tired etc. My legs felt fine but I felt low energy. Ok – need to eat good food and more of it. Simple as that. Also, I need to make my training more fun so that when my head says “aww hell, Shep, this doesn’t matter …” I am able to put that aside and keep plugging onward and upward (in this case).  The bummer is after the water stop (roughly mile 1 and change), you turn a corner and go directly up to where the turn around is. The kids at the water stop were standing right in the course line which would have pushed me out into the street to go around them. I was, as I say, by myself, so I let them know I was going directly through. Not many people had passed me at this point, but I was really warm. I got about 1/2  a cup of water down my back with the majority splashing the back of my calves. I couldn’t quite see where the turn around cone was, but I was being passed by runners coming down. I didn’t really recognize many. As I got closer to the turn around, I saw the three racewalkers ahead of me. Michael came down first, followed by a very intent Mariann. Darryl looking like a dapper man in his Bing Crosby-esque blue fishing cap, came down – smiled at me, slapped hands and said “There she is! Looking great!” Was nice.

I probably mentioned in a long ago post that Darryl was one of the first people I met at a competition. It was a Pott’s Trotters race, and it was cold. My very first one for her – so I have to say it was maybe December. I’d gotten very used to starting at the back of the runners as a too-fast-for-normal-walk-groups-but-too-slow-to-be-mixed-in-with-runners person. I didn’t fully get that the Racewalkers are actually started 2 minutes off of the runners. As I took off, I heard Potts SCREAMING “LIZZY!!! LIZZY!!!” and I had no clue what it was all about. I heard go and I went. It turned out she was trying to get me to come back. Darryl was wearing a long pair of pants and that blue hat … and just glided on past the struggling-at-mile-1 me saying “You’re doing fine Racewalker!” First person to ever call me one. Of course, he effortlessly glided right on past like smoke. After the race was over, he met up with me at the finish. It appeared his beloved wife hadn’t come to the race. He talked with me about post race stretching, catching my breath, recovery, water and cheering other people on. Just an amazing guy. I never forgot him. Then I didn’t see him and, I’ll be honest, I thought he’d died. Nope – I even got to meet his wife at this race. Having Darryl there made me feel like I truly was “coming back”.

I was searching for the turn around … I saw a bunch of cones by a police car and aimed for them until the copper pointed out the YELLOW cone to go around. Oy! I watched my knees as I tightly turned around it and headded back down the hill. I saw Darryl’s wife and said “go to the yellow cone!” After the race was through, she said she didn’t get what I was saying until she saw it and it helped! One would think I would have jammed the downhill. Strangely, I didn’t. Not sure why … I just thought it was more important to try to keep some sort of even pace. I probably made up some time, but my legs were feeling a little heavy. Gulp of water because I realized my mouth was dry and headding off into the last bit of the race.

The bummer on this race is the knowledge that probably much every mile is uphill. I came off the long hill and turned right onto the roadway leading back up to the police station. I just told my legs to “spin your wheels” and I motored up the hill. I was really warm. I guess I don’t handle warm all that well. I was also sweating a lot. Going up the hill. Roll the tootsies. My “big” and “second” toe on my right foot have been giving me trouble and they were acting up. I’m wondering if it’s got to do with the orthotics or what. I was paying attention to how my feet were feeling in the FastTwitch shoes. They’re pretty yum.

I was, as I say, all alone. There wasn’t a huge turn out, which is really sad for Potts, so I just had to keep myself motivated. I laughed knowing that the rest of the course was going to be up-hill and said “Well, Lizzy, you’re at the Bolder Boulder with fewer people around!” As anticipated, Bob was under a tree just before the end. He called out my time, which was nice and said “Second Female, Fourth Overall” I barely heard him, but it was appreciated. I knew exactly where I was. I just have to get used to calling numbers etc at me. I only passed one gal, who was a jog/walker, from the running group, so I knew everyone was done. I came around the corner and saw the START sign … a friend of mine from the Rocky Mountain Road Runners was there yelling “COME ON LIZZY!!! You’re almost done.” I have no clue how good/bad/indifferent I looked, but I knew I wanted to be done because I really was hot. My buddy doing the music knew that I’ve been off for the majority of the year with injuries and this was my first race back for me. He put on Heart of Rock and Roll the minute I came around the corner … past the Chick-fil-let cow (kind of surreal by the way) and I laughed. (If you don’t know, Huey Lewis and the News were from Marin County – Mill Valley, the town next to where I grew up.) Arms do your pull, legs roll it up the hill … keep it legal please … because just off to the left of the clock was a tall gentleman in a blue fisherman’s cap … Darryl. 

I’m not going to lie – I fixated on that damn clock out of the corner of my left eye all the way up the hill from the moment I could read the numbers. I was bound and determined to be back under 40 minutes. That really hurt in June! Ok – so I wasn’t feeling well, screw it! It hurt because I’d not been that slow in a while … at least in a race! 😉 I crossed knowing there wasn’t a 4 within the first 3 digits of the clock: 00:00:00 … so in the hours or first spot on minutes … So – seeing my friend there and getting in under 40 minutes. Very happy indeed!

I did come in a “distant” fourth, but I’m just fine with that. I kept motoring on. It did remind me a lot of earlier 5k’s. I know I can do the distance, but it was hard for me to smooth out.

So, next race: Virginia Beach Rock and Roll 1/2. Going out to have fun and see where I am racing 13.1 miles in these new FastTwitch shoes.



2 responses

16 08 2009

Bad enough you needed water during a short 5K but you were determined to run over the kids who were out there to help support you. Can’t we all just “get along”? 😉

17 08 2009

Pardon me, Racer? What do you mean it is “bad enough” needing water on a 5k? I guess you’ve forgotten your first races or are so dialed in that you don’t need anything. I admit that I’m not so dialed in. Many stop for water – even friends who are dialed in – and I’m thankful it is there when I do, especially because I’ve been running warm. I’m not determined to “run over” the kids, I was actually polite to them … which was helpful to me when I’ve done water stations. They were great kids and I told them that directly afterward. Sad that you seem to have been increasingly negative about things, but such is life. Maybe you’re trying to be funny …

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